Based on a true story, King Richard takes a look back in time to witness the journey of two tennis superstars. Following the life and upbringing of Venus and Serena Williams, we witness where it all began. The film’s lead, Richard Williams (played by Will Smith), is the proud and determined father of Venus and Serena. Before his children were even born, Richard had plans and life goals for both of them, including how they would one day impact the entire world forever as professional tennis athletes.
At first, it’s understandable why many viewers may think Richard sounds like a horrible father who pushes his children into playing tennis professionally. I’m proud to say this is not that kind of story, and Richard is a person who is passionate and filled with determination. Sure, there are moments when he oversteps his advice and gets things wrong. Still, for the vast majority, nothing will stop him from making sure his daughters are well looked after and have positive futures ahead of them. So much so that Richard himself did lots of hard work, including studying tennis for himself and coaching them. He is a father who works hard. This film looks at what life was like for this family before they hit stardom and changed sporting history forever.
King Richard is a dramatic story filled with many moments that are touching, powerful and, at times, gripping. Actor Will Smith once again delivers an incredible performance. Here, he brings a whole new look and personality unlike anything fans of Will Smith have seen before. It is naturally pleasing to see the actor deliver something new and fresh while honourably respecting the journey of the real-life William sisters.
Supporting performances throughout the film are tremendous and applaud worthy. Actresses Saniyya Sidney as Venus and Demi Singleton as Serena command the screen at times with their dramatic moments and are highly convincing at portraying the superstars. The supporting role from Jon Bernthal is also worth mentioning as a positive performance, and the actor is more exciting whenever he interacts with Will Smith’s character. The two characters always attempt to work together, and watching their characters not always see eye to eye brings many great moments that some may find comedic or stressful.
The pacing for this film is great for the majority, but I can’t deny the film certainly takes a little while to get underway as certain aspects are shown about the Williams family. Some people will see these moments as important to the story; however, I felt the film spent too long here, and some moments weren’t warranted. This includes general bullying that Richard himself received while his daughters practised. However, I found the pacing increased, and my engagement was significantly higher by the second and third acts. The finale is extremely powerful, and by the end, I felt touched and motivated.
Overall, this is a touching and powerful true story of how the tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams came to be thanks to their father, Richard Williams, played by Will Smith. Actor Will Smith reminds the world that he’s still more than capable of delivering a role that feels highly convincing while challenging himself to something new, unlike anything fans have seen before. Side performances are also great, and the story is quite powerful, touching and memorable. This is a great film that many today should see. King Richard (2021) is Available in Australian Cinemas from January 13th!